Tag Archives: sleep apnea

Transcend into Travel

If you suffer from sleep apnea, you probably already know that traveling with your CPAP machine can be an annoying experience. The newer machines are much smaller than its predecessors, however, some patients still think of it as ‘too big.’ They also have an opinion on the travel units as well – they are too expensive. While I do agree that they are on the pricier side, I also think that travel machines are good investments provided you are one to travel frequently and, of course, you can afford it. Thanks to Transcend, patients have a few more options to choose from when selecting which travel device they’d like to invest in.

Somnetics (the manufacturer of Transcend) has revamped its units and created something a little smaller, but better for patients: the Transcend 3 miniCPAP and the Transcend 365 miniCPAP.

The Transcend 3 features the same small design that patients are accustomed too with upgraded features such as a new modern design, a flat silicone base for better stability, and a swivel nozzle for a better CPAP experience. Like the machine before it, this third version has power/battery options depending on your specific needs. Of course it features the EZEX pressure relief, an adjustable ramp time, and monitors your AHI and leaks and compliance data. It can be used as a CPAP or Auto CPAP and works with operating pressures 4 – 20. The setup kit includes the machine – duh – a padded travel case with compartments, a standard six-foot hose, a multi-plug universal AC power supply with international plug kit, mini USB cord, and the Transcend 3 miniCPAP quick guide.

The Transcend 365 seems to be the ultimate travel machine as it is small and compact, and offers a humidification feature. The design of the 365 is different from that of the three, but it is still considered to be a version of the miniCPAP. The main difference between the two machines is that the 365 has a battery powered humidification system. It is the first machine to use the capillary force vaporizer (CFV). CFV delivers warm, moist air to you only when you inhale to provide comfortable therapy when needed. It uses about half the water of a regular CPAP humidifier and much less energy as well. The Transcend 365 setup kit comes with the machine, a secure padded travel bag with storage compartments, an AC power adapter with international power cords, a USB cord, and a quick start guide.

Both machines have a new larger and brighter LED screen which will allow patients to view their usage and compliance easily without any issues. Both machines are pretty simple to use and seem as if they allow for traveling with your machine much easier!

Dream…Wisp

If you’re a CPAP user I’m sure you have heard of the Dreamwear mask at this point – either the original mask, the nasal pillow mask, or the full face mask. The product has been pretty successful in the CPAP industry and has quickly become a favorite among many patients. It seemed as though Respironics has the ideal mask created, and there was an option for everyone. However, it looks like they are always striving to do outdo their best work, and looks as if they have accomplished their goal with this new mask – the DreamWisp.

Yep, you guessed it the dreamwisp mask incorporates the best qualities of the DreamWear and the wisp mask. According to the website, the “DreamWisp was designed to help you sleep comfortably with every turn. Combining DreamWear’s top-of-the-head tube design with the Wisp’s minimal contact nasal cushion, DreamWisp gives you the freedom to sleep in any position through the night.”

The mask is easy to attach and simple to adjust, making it easily convenient. It has magnetic clips that allow for quick attachment and detachment. In studies done prior to launch, it seems that patients were happy with the seal the cushion provides. This mask also come in handy for those who like to read or watch television prior to going to sleep as it does not obstruct the view in any type of way; it is also good for patients who wear glasses.

The mask comes in petite, small, medium, large, and extra large sizing. It also has two additional connector options in case the patient needs a larger frame. It is made up of silicone, polycarbonate, polyurethane foam, nylon, spandex, polyester, magnet, and acetal. It has multiple exhalation ports which allows for a quieter environment and is compatible with any pressure – 4 through 30.

The mask seems to be easy to use and will be a hit among the patients.

Sleep Apnea can cause what…?

At this point we know that there are numerous things that can cause sleep apnea, and that sleep apnea can cause numerous other conditions as well. With as much as I have learned about this disease – for a lack of a better word – what I have recently discovered is the most surprising; there have been a few different studies that have linked sleep apnea to cancer.

While the research linking sleep apnea to cancer is not as pronounced as the link between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease, it is most definitely something to take under advisement and treat said condition.

There have been two different studies conducted – one in Spain and the other in Wisconsin. Both studies followed a number of patients that suffer from breathing issues, like sleep apnea. The results from the study conducted in Spain showed that about 65% of the patients who suffered from the most severe form of sleep apnea were at a higher risk of developing cancer. The study in Wisconsin was conducted among government workers, and the results showed that those with the most breathing abnormalities had five times the risk of dying from cancer compared to their counterparts that do not have any breathing abnormalities. There was no specific type of cancer linked, they study was a general observation of the link between sleep apnea and cancer.

Renowned scientists have said that more research is needed when linking the two together – something more sustainable. However, there have been a few animal studies that have shown some connection between low-oxygen environments (similar to what someone with sleep apnea would experience throughout the night while sleeping) and the progression of cancerous cells at a rapid pace. Another study conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that “the more severe a person’s breathing problems at night, the greater likelihood of dying from cancer.”

As if not wanting to get a solids night sleep was not enough, I would think that this is would be the deciding factor to see your physician concerning your possible sleep apnea symptoms. I know in this day and age a new study is done every other day linking everyday, simple things to cancer. Most people I know choose to ignore said studies, but this one is not something that we should ignore.

Find out more about the studies here: https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/sleep-apnea-tied-to-increased-cancer-risk/

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

Insomnia, in simple terms, can be defined as not being able to sleep. The medical definition, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is “difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even with a person has the chance to do so.”

Insomnia is a major problem facing many Americans today. About one in four women show signs of insomnia, and one in seven adults suffer from long- term (chronic) insomnia. There are some who rely on natural sleep remedies such as a diffuser with calming scents to induce sleep, and others rely on prescription medications to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. And then there are some that try an alternative form of ‘therapy’ – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia or CBT-I for short.

CBT-I, according to the National Institute of Health, “is a safe and effective means of managing chronic insomnia and its effects.” The way CBT-I works is similar to seeing a therapist. You go in and speak with a clinician and go through a number of assessments. You will keep a sleep diary, it should track if/when you have trouble falling asleep; how many time you wake up throughout the night; and when you get into bed to actually go to sleep and when you wake up to begin your day, which you will reference through the sessions with the clinician. Essentially, you are retraining your brain on how and when to sleep.

The first step in CBT-I is known as Sleep Restriction Therapy. This occurs within the first six weeks of CBT-I. You will you utilize your sleep diary throughout this period discussing your results with your clinician. Based on the research that I found, one clinician told his patient not to go to sleep until midnight despite that patient having to wake up early everyday during the work week. The patient reported that she was getting less sleep than before she started CBT-I, however by the end of the sixth week she was finally able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

Other parts of the CBT-I process are known as Stimulus Control Instructions and Sleep Hygiene Education. “Stimulus Control Instructions are created by looking at the patient’s sleep habits and pinpointing different actions that may be prohibiting sleep,” says the National Sleep Foundation. The answer for this is quite simple – no eating or watching TV in the bedroom. Anything other then sleep should not take place in the bedroom. If you find yourself wide awake and unable to sleep, it is advised that you leave your bedroom – this will help train your mind and body. Sleep Hygiene Education involves learning about the do’s and do not’s of sleep like sleeping in cool, dark room is the most ideal thing to do, and avoid caffeine, alcohol or heavy meals near bedtime.

There is much more to CBT-I then what we have discussed today. It is a long process, but with some time and continued effort, I think the results will be very promising.

New but a little familiar too

Is it just me that gets pretty hype whenever there is a new product launch in the CPAP world? I don’t use a CPAP, although depending on whom you ask they might tell you I should, but I can’t help but get excited for y’all CPAP users when something new comes out for y’all to try. I’m pretty much like a kid in a candy store for a lack of a better metaphor. That being said, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that ResMed was launching a new mask.

The N30i is the newest mask introduced to the ResMed line. The design is quite similar to Respironics’ Dreamwear mask. The frame is made of soft silicone material and is designed to cover less of your face; it sits right above the cheek bones, similar to a nasal cradle or cannula, to hold the cushions that will sit under the nose. It also allows for easy airflow throughout the night no matter what position the patient is sleeping in. There is a top-of-the-head tube design, again, similar to that of the Dreamwear mask, which allows ease of use for the patient through the night.

The top-of-the-head tube design allows you to sleep closer to your significant other without anything really getting in the way. At least, that’s what the website says. The website also mentions the mask is within the same sound rage as other nasal masks, but users have reported little to no noise at all. Another great feature, although this is nothing new to ResMed products, is the quick-release elbow connection via the tubing; it makes getting up in the middle of the night easier as patient will not have to not take of the entire mask, rather they just have to disconnect their tubing.

As of now, patients who have tried to mask seem to really like it. The cushion comes in four different sizes: small, medium, small wide and wide, and the frame comes in a small and a standard sizing. Thus far, the N30i seems to be very promising. If I were using a CPAP of some type, this is definitely something I would want to try ASAP!

You can find more information on the mask on our website – www.cpapoffice.com

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